John D. Grabenstein Receives Remington Honor Medal, Highest Honor in Pharmacy
WASHINGTON, DC – Colonel (Ret.) John D. Grabenstein, RPh, Ph.D., of Easton, MD, is the recipient of the 2020 Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the profession’s highest recognition. Grabenstein, the first career military pharmacist to be recognized since the Remington Honor Medal's inception in 1919, recently retired as Global Executive Director of Medical Affairs for Merck Vaccines. Currently, he is an editor for the Immunization Action Coalition. He was selected in recognition of his decades of excellence as a leader in promoting public health and wellness through immunization practice by pharmacists, a pioneer in immersive leadership training, and his contributions to military medicine.
In 1996, Grabenstein wrote "Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery," APhA's certificate training program that has trained more than 340,000 pharmacists. His name is synonymous with immunizations, according to his nominators. “He was one of, if not, the visionary who put into motion the path for education and training that would enable pharmacy colleagues to immunize within their communities,” one letter of support said.
During his 27 years of service as an active-duty officer in the United States Army, Dr. Grabenstein oversaw the U.S. Defense Department immunization program for 9 million troops, retirees and family members as the head of the Military Vaccine Agency. Among his numerous contributions and honors during his military tenure was his cutting-edge research and implementation of vaccination programs against anthrax and smallpox.
Dr. Grabenstein’s nominators wrote that “despite all the accolades and accomplishments, John never hesitates to give back to the profession.” One nominator went further to say that “what I find truly amazing is that John was serving the profession while also serving his country.” John’s contributions to the profession include his impact on pharmacist leadership development. As stated in one of his letters of support, “his vision sought to fill a gap in pharmacy education that is only now formally prioritized in the 2013 Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education Outcomes and prominently in the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education 2016 Standards. The letter continued, “John’s work has influenced thousands of future pharmacy leaders through a transformative leadership experience empowering individuals to develop an understanding of the hearts (interests), minds (strengths), bodies (needs), spirits (values) – elements critical to effective leadership – to maximize their contributions toward a greater purpose.”
“Most recently, APhA’s Lead360 Program, a partnership between APhA and the Pharmacy Leadership and Education Institute, is strongly influenced by John’s work,” noted a support letter. “For almost 30 years, pharmacy leaders have grown up in a system based upon John’s program. We are his legacy.”
The Remington Honor Medal, named for eminent community pharmacist, manufacturer, and educator Joseph P. Remington, was established in 1918 to recognize distinguished service on behalf of American pharmacy during the preceding years, culminating in the past year or during a long period of outstanding activity or fruitful achievement. The APhA Foundation has created the Remington Endowment to lead collaborative problem-solving with the entire profession of pharmacy and its stakeholders to improve our nation’s most pressing medication use and safety issues. Grabenstein will be officially recognized during the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in National Harbor, MD, March 20–23, 2020. The APhA awards and honors program is the most comprehensive recognition program in the profession of pharmacy.
Dr. Grabenstein received his pharmacy degree from Duquesne University, a master’s in education from Boston University, then a doctorate in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina. Shenandoah University and Chapman University bestowed honorary doctorates on him.
Dr. Grabenstein has received the Andrew Craigie Award, the APhA Gloria Niemeyer Francke Leadership Mentor Award, ASHP Award for Sustained Contributions to the Literature, the APhA Foundation Pinnacle Award, and many others, including those from Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma, and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. He chairs the board of directors of the Pharmacy Leadership & Education Institute, is vice president of the American Institute of History of Pharmacy, and is past national president of Phi Delta Chi.
John and his wife, Laurie, have four children and a rescue dog, each fully vaccinated.
About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing 60,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA is dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care and is the first and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com.